Our High Street Competitors

Get to know our industry 

We believe you are better off with independent, local hearing care. Find out why!

Get to know our industry 

We believe you are better off with independent, local hearing care.
Find out why!

Amplifon

This Manchester based UK business is a wholly owned subsidiary of Milan HQ. Amplifon bought the Amplivox/Ultratone business back in 2007, and that business was part-owned by GN Hearing, so although GN Hearing no longer has a stake, many of their audiologists lack the knowledge and experience of working with anything beyond the Resound brand that GN Hearing own. They now sell Phonak aids too however.

They have made an average £6m loss per year in the UK for business years 2011-2018, the latest publicly available figures.

Boots Hearing

Only actually 50% owned by Boots! The other 50% is owned by Sonova, whose main brand in the UK is Phonak; so guess whose products they are most likely to recommend?

Even before the pandemic they had started recruiting a lot of recent graduates while they got rid of experienced audiologists by cutting their packages to bring down salary costs.

I remember when Boots used to be about premium service and patient care; now it’s all about volume business, as they continue to battle it out with Specsavers for the number 1 spot. Funnily enough, that change happened around the same time they moved their HO to Switzerland thereby avoiding paying UK taxes. I’m sure that was just a coincidence, aren’t you?

Hidden Hearing

Wholly owned by William Demant, whose main brand in the UK is Oticon. They will rarely recommend anything else. While the product is terrific, they charge significantly more than most for it; mainly to support a bloated and largely non-audiological management structure, and staff sales incentives to far flung shores.

Save your pennies and go to an independent who will offer far more individual service as well as value for money.

Specsavers

Just as the opticians is a franchise model, so too are the audiology practices within Specsavers -where the local franchisee pays the head office for accounts, branding and marketing support. Pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap was the successful optical business model and they’ve now done the same with hearing aids.

It’s worked for them in that they now prescribe more hearing aids privately in the UK than anyone else. Has it worked for their patients though in terms of being recommended the best product for their hearing loss? There are many who are happy to be buy based on price alone and if that’s your main driver then go there. Perhaps reconsider if you want an industry leading hearing assessment and care though; because that approach is inconsistent with a business model that relies so heavily on volume.

If you need further information on where to spend your money most wisely, check out the Which? Report on performance of Independent Hearing Aid retailers versus the big chains: